Publication date: 03-10-2006
Lindner worth grows to $2.2 billion
He's 350th on Forbes rich list
Staff and wire report
Carl Lindner Jr. got richer in the last year, while the net worth of Cincinnati's other billionaire, Cintas founder Richard Farmer, fell, according to Forbes magazine's 2006 rankings of the world's richest people.
Lindner's worth grew by $400 million to $2.2 billion as shares of Lindner's American Financial Group rose by more than 35 percent over the last year. That was enough to rank him 350th on the list and second in the state of Ohio. Leslie Wexner of Limited Brands ranked first in Ohio.
Farmer's worth dropped to $1.3 billion from $1.5 billion a year ago, as shares in his uniform rental company are down more than 4 percent from a year ago. He ranked 606th overall and seventh out of seven in Ohio.
There were no billionaires in Kentucky.
As emerging stock markets surged during the past year, 102 wealthy people around the world joined the list of billionaires. But tepid returns in the United States ate into the fortunes of some of the richest Americans, including the founding family of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
The number of billionaires around the world rose by 102 to a record 793 over the past year, and their combined wealth grew 18 percent to $2.6 trillion, according to Forbes magazine's 2006 rankings of the world's richest people.
Forbes editor Luisa Kroll noted that Russia's stock market jumped 108 percent between February 2005 and February 2006, while India's market rose by more than 54 percent during the same period. Brazil "was another bright star" with a market gain of 38 percent, she said.
Kroll said the changes on the list weren't driven by U.S. investments.
"The more exciting story is these emerging markets," she said. "The U.S. stock market was quite a laggard with only a 1 percent increase."
The growth in emerging markets also meant the Czech Republic placed a billionaire on the list for the first time: Petr Kellner, who debuted at No. 224 with $3 billion. And while China's market grew just 3 percent, the country added eight more billionaires, up from two last year.
Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates was again the world's richest man for the 12th year running. Gates grew wealthier, with his net worth rising to $50 billion from $46.5 billion. Investor Warren Buffett, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., again ranked second; his fortune fell by $2 billion to $42 billion.
The rest of the top 10 underwent a major reshuffling, with three familiar names dropping out of that select group: German supermarket company owner Karl Albrecht, Oracle's Lawrence Ellison and Wal-Mart chairman S. Robson Walton.
Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helu moved up to No. 3 with $30 billion, replacing Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, who fell one place to No. 5 with $23.5 billion.
Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad of Sweden rose two slots to No. 4 with $28 billion.
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen edged up to sixth place from No. 7, with a net worth of $22 billion. He was followed by France's Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive of LVMH and the Christian Dior Group, with $21.5 billion; Arnault was new to the top 10.
Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud fell to eighth from No. 5, with $20 billion; and Canadian publisher Kenneth Thomson moved into the top 10, ranking No. 9 with $19.6 billion.
The Walton family, which dominated the Forbes list, tumbled in this year as stock in the world's largest retailer dropped more than 10 percent last year.
Martha Stewart, who was new to the list last year, dropped off completely this year. Her fortune shrank from $1 billion to an estimated $500 million following her conviction for lying about a stock sale.